Friday, August 29, 2008

dirty diaper derby

Today feels like it's dragging on forever! Alessia's visit to the doctor went well. My little peanut is now 11lbs 14oz, and 24in tall. Although she may seem small, the doctor was very pleased with how she's growing and that I'm continuing to exclusively breastfeed her. I turned down 2 of the 4 vaccines, so I have to go back next month to get them. I don't mind paying another copay - it's so worth it not to cause her so much pain. Speaking of pain, she did okay with the shots. I fed her right before she got them - which supposedly helps because it raises their glucose level or something like that - and then again right after to soothe her. Mark took her home in his car so that I can have one peaceful car ride. And wouldn't you know it, she slept for him?! She did cry a little, but then passed out. Figures! Oh, and I asked the dr. about her earring "injury", and he looked at me like I was crazy. She's fine, it'll heal, I don't have to do anything. And it does look much better. It didn't seem to bother her, but it really bothered me and made me feel bad for piercing her ears to begin with.

So far, no fever from the shots, but oh my god the poopy diapers! I think I've changed at least 4 already, which is more than usual for her these days. And she has mastered grabbing her toes, so of course when I put her on the changing table she goes for them. Makes it very difficult to put a new one on! The last one I put on took 3 attempts and then I realized she still had a cheek hanging out. But it's so cute when she grabs her feet! She looks at you like "Whoa! Now what do I do with them?" Oh and last night she let out the loudest, cutest, full-on belly laugh at bathtime. We've never heard anything like it! So cute...we hope she does it again tonight and we catch it on video.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

sleepdeprived rambling mommy

Due to lack of sleep, my brain is all over the place - hence the title of this post. No creativity today. So please excuse my rambles.

Attempting to go green: I've been inspired by my friend, neighbor and fellow blogger, Danielle, to try to go green. First, she opened my eyes to what kind of health products I was using on Alessia and directed me to Skin Deep to check the safety of what I was using. End result: I got rid of all the stuff I originally bought and got safer products. Alessia's skin actually seems better since getting rid of soaps and lotions containing fragrance. I would love to try cloth diapers after hearing her review after using them on Eliza, but my mom (who will be watching Alessia when I return to work) is not feeling it, so I'm keeping the disposable. Besides, I don't know how long I would last with them anyway with the yucky breastfed poopy diapers. Maybe when she's a little older and less disgusting down there. Next came cleaning products. I've always been a little weary about what kind of chemicals I'm inhaling every time I clean the bathroom - when I was pregnant, I refused to do it. Luckily Mark cleaned them for me. Then my aunt got me thinking about the cleaners I was using in the kitchen, and I started to worry a little. Danielle has reviewed some good eco-friendly cleaning products, but when you're on a tight budget and on maternity leave with no pay it's hard to rationalize to the hubs spending the green on greener cleaning supplies when we have a ton of "traditional" ones. She mentioned using vinegar to clean some things in the home, so I decidede to look into it and see just how far you could go. I found some info here and here on how to clean just about everything in your home with vinegar, baking soda and lemon juice. So I'm trying it out. So far, I've used distilled white wine vinegar in lieu of fabric softener. I was a little skeptical that my clothes would smell like stinky feet but they didn't. In fact, they were just as soft as when I use fabric softener. I've also used diluted vinegar to clean the kitchen and bathrooms with equal satisfaction. The faucets have never been so shiney! I used baking soda to clean my stovetop and was very impressed. It worked better than the commercial products I had been using to cut through cooked on grease. While I'm happy with my greener cleaning, I'm getting some slack from Mark and my mom, who both think I'm crazy. But I'm used to that, especially after I freaked out over the main ingredient (triclosan) in the antibacterial hand soap we all use and rushed to the store to get what I called "non-toxic" soap. See what happens when I read??

And the award for worst mommy in the world goes to....
Since Alessia was born, I sometimes feel like the worst mom ever. For example, when I let her sleep on her tummy, when she screams as if being tortured to death in the car, when I strap her into her stroller for a walk even if she's crying just so I can get out of the house and get some fresh air and drink my coffee. And this morning. As we embarked on our daily morning walk with Danielle and Eliza (which will be missed terribly starting Tuesday), Alessia fussed and cried as usual. Every few steps, I would stop to try to figure out what was wrong. Are the straps too tight? Is something pinching her? Did part of her body fall off and I didn't notice?? Then I check her earrings...the left one has dried blood caked on it. OH MY GOD WHAT HAPPENED!?! I have no idea when or how it happened, but it must have either gotten caught on something or she pulled it. Probably the latter since there was also a scratch on that side of her face, by her ear. Mind you, I had her ears peirced 5 weeks ago, and this never happened. This one earring was not as tight as the other, and when I got home and checked it as I cleaned it with alcohol, it looks like the back is pissed off and she cut it a little. Now her little earlobe looks a little swollen to me. Why in the world did I peirce her ears??!! Every little girl in my family has had their ears pierced around 3 months, so I didn't even think twice. I think they're adorable. However, I'm always freaking out that she'll get hurt. And now it has happened. And it's all my fault. She doesn't seem to care or be in pain -though maybe that's one of the reasons she woke up so much last night - but I feel horrible. We have a dr. appointment this afternoon (and she's getting shots again), so Mark said to just have him look at it. So he can look at me disapprovingly and confirm that I'm a bad mommy?? Just hand the award over now.

Speaking of the doctor - at her 8 week appt. they gave her 4 shots. Poor baby! 2 in each leg, so no matter what side I nursed her on, she was in pain. I told Mark he has to back me up, especially if I chicken out, but there is no way they're doing that again!! No more than 2 at a time. I don't care if I have to go back next week for the rest, but there's no need, in my opinion, to do so many at once. And I've spoken endless times about her Alessia hates hates hates the car, especially later in the day. Our appt is at 4:30 and the office is about an hour away, so I'm not looking forward to that drive. And I'm really not looking forward to the one home, especially after her shots and the night we had (nothing major, just no sleep for mommy). I think I'll pawn her off on daddy for that ride home. See, aren't I horrible??

Okay, I think that's enough rambling, don't you? If you actually read the whole thing, thanks!! If not, I don't blame you! I'll leave you with a pic of my cutie pie who is 4 months today!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Can I just wear her?

So this morning I was thinking about having to return to work next week. Alessia woke up early - although nothing compared to my future work days - and I was begging her to go back to sleep. How the hell am I going to do this? She still doesn't sleep through the night, and lately has been waking up for a second feeding between 4 and 5. I'm guessing that to get out of the house by 6, I'm going to have to get up either right after she eats at 4 or set my alarm for that time. I'm still optimistic about being able to pump before leaving in the morning and then again at work, but we'll see how that goes and how long it lasts. All I know is that the coffee is definitely going to have to be ready for me in the morning, because there's no way I can live without it. It's funny, I was never really a hardcore coffee drinker before having her. Now I can't get by without my morning cup o'joe and sometimes need another later in the day.

As I was feeding her this morning and talking to her like I always do (I don't care if she can't understand's venting), I thought "how about I just wear you to work?" Nobody cared when she was in my belly, how bout I just wrap her up and keep her on my belly throughout the day? Then I won't have to call 5o billion times throughout the day to see how she's doing. I know I'm crazy, I just don't want to leave her yet! But couldn't you just picture me teaching with her in my mobywrap or batik ringsling? Haha...I'm sure the kids would get a kick out of that and I would get soooo much done :o)

Oh well, a mom can dream, right? I better go get some cleaning done while Alessia takes her morning nap. My mom is on her way to keep her occupied while I attempt to regain some order in this house. Ha! I'll let you know if it actually happens.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


We've been busy busy busy around here, so I've been away from the computer. Here's our highlights since last Friday:

My sister finally found her luggage and got to Pozzallo. I haven't talked to her since because her cell isn't working in that tiny town for some reason, but I'm sure she finally got that drink and relaxed.

Saturday we went to Lewis Morris Park for a picnic with another couple we met in lamaze. They have a little boy, Luc, who is a week older than Alessia and just adorable! The babies had a good time - Luc tried to put the moves on Alessia.
And the daddies took them down the slide. The adults had a great time too, enjoying some "big people" conversation.

Then we stopped by a BBQ to see my inlaws and some of their friends to show off Alessia. There was a huge fire pit and citronella torches all over the backyard, so I was freaking out about the baby. No matter where I went, smoke followed. We all smelled gross. It's not good when your child smells like a bonfire.

Sunday we did some shopping - finally got a new desk so I could set up an office to clutter up. It just makes me think of work, and that sucks. I really don't want to go back next week and am really not looking forward to having to bring work home with me for the first time in 5 years. I'm still trying not to think about returning to work cuz I freak out. I'll let you know how it all works out.

Today we went to the Lehigh Valley Zoo with our friends Danielle and Eliza. It's a fun zoo, especially for little ones. Just like our last zoo visit, Alessia slept for the second half.
Here we are seconds before she passed out in front of the Emu. That stubborn bird kept walking around and hiding behind bushes, so he's not in the pic. But he was really cool!
Here's a cute one of Eliza after we stopped to feed the girls by the butterfly garden. She was a good girl and stayed in her stroller. I didn't bother this time and just put Alessia in the sling straight out of the car.
We saw some fun animals, and I took pics of all of them to make a little book for her, so when we go back next year she'll know them all!
Since Alessia slept for about an hour in the zoo, she was not a happy camper in the car. Danielle squeezed in between the two carseats in the back (thank God she's skinny as a toothpick!) and tried to calm my screaming baby. She passed out about 10 min before we got home. It was a 40 min drive. Thank God for Danielle and Eliza this summer! They've made it a blast, but also makes it hard to go back to work. I'll miss our adventures!

So that's it. Now my little peanut is napping and I have to get some stuff done. We'll see how far I get.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Last mommy's group

Yesterday was our last mommy's group at Postpartum Place because I'm going back to work. It was so sad!! That group has been a life saver since I had Alessia. It got me through all the tough times I had with breastfeeding, Alessia's sleep problems in the being, and most recently, heading back to work. Even though it was a major pain in the ass to drive the hour to get there once a week, especially on days when we either got a late start because Alessia woke up late or when she was screaming in the car, it was always worth it. I just wish there was a place like it that's closer to us. But it's definitely one of a kind. Even if I did find another place closer, I probably would still make the trek up there because I just love Maria, Dawn and Sharon. Not only are they knowledgable, but hilarious and make you laugh it off sometimes. Maria especially, so I was so happy to see she was running group yesterday. Our relationship is not over, however. I have their phone number saved in my cell and on speed dial at home, so I'll be calling with any new questions as a venture into pumping at work.

Okay, so I started typing this post around 10:00 while Alessia napped. Since then, it has been pandamonium around here. I decided to pump while she was sleeping, and wouldn't you know it, as soon as I finished, she woke up and wanted to eat. But she was impatient and wanted a quick letdown, which wasn't happening, so I got her a bottle. As I'm feeding her, my aunt calls me - "Call your sister! She called from the airport crying and hung up." Apparently I'm the only one that can call Italy right now. So I call her cell. Let me preface this by telling you that my sister is one of the most independant women I know, even at only 22 years of age. She has travelled internationally alone, which is something I could never do. I can't even eat out alone! She's currently at the airport in Catania (Sicily). They have lost her luggage and she can't figure out what bus she's supposed to take to get to my grandfather's house in Pozzallo - about 2 hours away. On top of that, she's exhausted from traveling and hormonal (PMS), so she's a wreck. I'd be a wreck even without the hormones, so I totally understand. The people at the airport are complete assholes, especially to americans. My sister can get by in Italian, but apparently they're giving her the runaround and she can't find the bus. bHer friend is with her, but doesn't speak a word of Italian. My brother is in Pozzallo, but his cell is not working. So here I am, with Alessia talking away in my ear, and trying to fix this situation from the other side of the planet. I call my grandfather, who unfortunately is going a little senile these days, and has no idea who I am at first (though I never really call there, so the confusion is understandable). I try to explain the situation, then just ask to talk to my brother who I find out has gone to the beach and we can't get in touch with him b/c his cell doesn't work. So here I am, going back and forth b/w everyone - calling Italy, then my mom, blah blah blah. In the midst of this, Alessia poops, so I take her upstairs to change her, only to find that it has shot up the front of her diaper and is all over her stomache. How the hell do I clean that??!! So into the tub she goes - and I've never bathed her by myself before because I'm so afraid she'll slide into the water and drown. As I'm trying to hose her off, the phone's Mark, and I just freak out at him trying to explain everything, then hang up. Alessia is giggling away, because she thinks this is hilarious and is loving the extra bath. Once she's all dressed again, I call mark to explain everything and apologize in advance for the astronomical phone bill that will be coming. I get back in touch with my sister, who still can't find her luggage, and apparently my grandfather is going to pick her up now. My uncle called him to try to figure everything out, and this is apparently the new plan. Though my grandfather doesn't really like driving that far anymore, so I don't know what's going on. In the meantime, a bus to Pozzallo has come and gone, and the next one is not for another 2 hours, but they still can't figure out where the terminal is. For those of you that are wondering how confusing could it possibly be, let me tell you this: don't envision an airport like Newark or JFK...Catania is a small airport that has recently decided to become an international airport, so it's under construction. Since it's in Sicily, the construction will take FOREVER. It was confusing before they started working, so God only knows what it looks like now. I told my sister to head to a bar as soon as she gets to town and have some drinks. What a day! I'm still waiting to hear from her to see how it all pans out and if she ever gets out of the airport.
As for me...Alessia ate again and passed out. I put her in the little bassinet from her Bugaboo and she's sleeping in the living room. Mommy needs a cocktail!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Don't put me down mommy!

All of a sudden, Alessia won't go down for naps for me anymore. It's like we've taken two steps backwards. She wants to be on me to sleep during the day, and has been a little fussy at night as well. At first I thought it was related to the teething, but now am wondering if it has something to do with where she naps. She always napped in her packandplay in the livingroom. But about a week ago, we moved it into our bedroom because she had outgrown her bassinet but I'm not ready for her to sleep in her crib yet. Today I realized that it was then that she started giving me a problem with her daytime naps. Today I went to put her down, and she kept waking up. As soon as I would pick her up, she would curl up and fall back asleep. I would normally just be fine with it and wrap her, but I have to do some cleaning (yet here I am, blogging away) and can't do it with her on me. So I tried to put her down on a blanket on the floor in the livingroom, and low and behold, she stayed asleep and didn't even fidget! Do you think she just doesn't want to be upstairs? Maybe she associates my bedroom with nighttime and just doesn't want to be up there during the day? Or she can sense I'm not up there with her? She didn't do this at my mom's house on sunday, but Mark seems to think that she sleeps so well there because she sleeps in a comfy crib. Who knows! But at least she's sleeping now and I can finally eat and then try to unclog the toilet (although I would love to leave it for Mark to do when he gets home, just like he leaves me dirty dishes in the sink in the morning)
Look at the little fussybutt asleep on the floor. What a cute pain in the ass!

babywearing contest

For all you babywearers out there, check out the latest giveaway from Along for the ride. They're giving away a Beco Butterfly and a Beco toy carrier.
Win a Beco Butterfly Baby Carrier and Beco Toy Carrier from Along for the Ride.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Rough day

I think I mentioned in an earlier post that Alessia is apparently teething. It's been rough. I don't know if the teeth are actually coming soon, or what's going on, but this sucks...for both of us. Poor baby is so uncomfortable and just chomping away at her fingers and anything else she can get in her mouth. She's drooling like a fiend - I have nicknamed her "droolymonster". I don't think she has a fever...she fusses like crazy and whenever I think she feels warm, it's not a great time to take her temp - she either just finished eating, crying or sleeping. Plus I'm totally freaked out about having to take her temp the correct way and refuse to do so while I'm home alone with her. My aunt asked if she had diarrhea, because both her girls had that when they were teething, along with a runny nose, but honestly how do you tell if a breastfed baby has diarrhea? What's the difference? I just feel so bad. And then on top of it, I'm freaking out about the toys she puts in her mouth. Mark keeps letting her chomp away at one in particular, and I'm like "Is that plastic BPA free?? Is it safe??"

Today she is being such a fussybutt. She won't sleep if I put her down...she starts wiggling her tush like someone shoved a pepper in her butt. Then the only thing that soothes her is nursing, but she keeps spitting up. Is that part of teething? I can't figure out if it's something I've eaten in the past few days or if it's a side effect. I had to hold her earlier while she napped, so I sat in the glider and finally finished reading Belly Laughs - which I started reading when she was first born and totally forgot about. Then I thought she was in a deep enough sleep that I could put her down, but nope! Cried and cried and cried, then nursed, fell asleep again, then woke up and spit on me. Fun!! So right now she's in her Mobywrap, passed out and I'm finally getting to type.

We had a pretty good weekend with the family. On Saturday, Mark and I took her to the park for a bit and took some cute pics.

Yesterday we went to my parents' to say goodbye to my brother who's heading off to Italy for the fall semester to study architecture in Firenze. Since it was another beautiful day, we spent as much time outside as possible to get some fresh air. We sat on the swing with Nonno, then after dinner went to a local park with my brother for a stroll. And as usual, Alessia didn't last in the stroller very long. Luckily I never go anywhere without my Batik ringsling. We walked back, with Uncle Larry pushing an empty stroller. It was a funny site.

When we came home, Alessia was a wreck again. Screaming and fussing and not wanting to go down. She nursed forever, making the weirdest noises...kind of like "Mmm hmmm" and a grunt combined. But I managed to finally get her down and she only woke up once during the night. This morning she woke up in the best mood and was a pleasure on our daily walk with Danielle and Eliza. I was like "Who are you and what did you do with my baby??" And now I'm like "where did that baby go??" Oh well. I'm praying Mark will play with her a bit when he gets home so I can have a few moments to myself to shower and maybe a little yoga or meditation. When do mommies get a break??

Any advice or wisdom regarding the teething?

Friday, August 15, 2008

Girls' day out

Today we went to the Turtleback Zoo with some other moms and babies from my mom's group and my friend Danielle and her daughter Eliza. So fun!! Eliza was probably the only baby that enjoyed it fully - the other babies are little: 11 wks, 13wks, 15wks (Alessia) and 4 mths. It was still a blast though. When she was awake, Alessia did check out some of the animals - she seemed to like the turtles and monkeys. She definitely enjoyed the train ride Danielle and I took the girls on at the end. We dragged our strollers along, but of course the girls didn't stay in for long. So we both carried them, me in my batik ringsling, and Danielle in her BabyHawk, and pushed around empty strollers. Next time I'm definitely leaving the stroller in the car. What's the point?
I was so proud of myself today: I was able to nurse Alessia in the sling as we continued to walk around the zoo. It was my first time using the sling this way. The best part of the day was probably when all the babies were eating at the same time. What a site! Eliza in her stroller (since she's a big girl and gets to eat food now), two babies under HooterHiders, and mine in the sling, all sitting on bench across from some Tucans. What a kodak moment! Too bad we didn't capture it. As for the car ride, someone up there likes me today! Alessia was great! Even when she woke up, she just chomped on her fingers and hung out. Maybe she was soothed by the fact that Eliza was back there with her to keep her company. Or maybe I was just lucky today.
It was kind of hard to take a lot of pics because Alessia passed out in the sling and I had to support her head a little and keep tabs on the baby-less stroller. But here are two okay pics of the girls catching a ride by the llamas:

Thursday, August 14, 2008

ups and downs

It has been such a crazy week! I haven't gotten a chance to sit down and write any posts because Alessia has been a little fussy this week. So here are the "downs" we've had: Apparently, she's teething, so besides the fussiness, she's been biting and chewing on me during feedings. Can we say "ouch"?!? That has also been affecting her sleeping, both during the day and at night. I guess she's just uncomfortable. So bedtime has been taking an average of 2 hours to finally get her down, where we were finally able to just put her down while she was sleepy and she'd put herself to sleep. Oh well, what are you going to do? We just go with the flow. It just freaks me out when she starts screaming because it's so not like her.

"Ups": she laughed a real laugh for the first time yesterday. So cute!! Until now, she would just open her mouth real wide and smile with a little squeak sometimes, but this was a real giggle. She has also found her voice, so she just babbles and squeaks and squeals all day long. Adorable! The other day, she just made my heart melt. While I was feeding her, she pulled off and looked straight into my eyes while she gently stroked my face and held her hand up to my mouth for kisses. She's been doing that a lot lately, just feeling my face while she eats and stares at me. I just love it and always look forward to feeding times (well except for when she bites me). Yesterday Alessia and I went to the supermarket by ourselves for the first time. It may sound like no big deal, but it was for me! My husband has been doing all the food shopping since she's been born or all 3 of us go. I can't see over the cart if I put her carseat on it. But I was all out of breakfast foods, and Mark was coming home late. So I put her in my ringsling (from Heavenly Hold, and went about my shopping. She didn't cry, and we came out with everything we needed. Yay for babywearing!! It makes life soooo much easier.
Um...let's see, what else? Oh yea, we got the pictures from the christening. So cute, except that she won't smile when she sees a camera. I think we got one with her smiling, and that's because it was taken from the side so she was distracted. But I think she still came out adorable. Here are some of my faves:These are her godparents, Carmela and Joe.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Rambling Monday

Lots of random things to say today...
Friday hubby and I went to our friend's salon/spa to get our hair cut and my brows waxed so we would be beautiful for the christening. She is learning to cut hair, so we get free haircuts for as long as we agree to be her guinea pigs. I didn't have anyone to watch Alessia, so I brought her along and a bottle so I could feed her while we were there. Mark went first and Alessia was so crabby from the car ride, I couldn't get her to stop crying or eat. After maybe 2 minutes, my friend came over and said "she has to be quiet". Just like that. I got so pissed off I took her outside and stayed there until Mark was done. It's not like she's a toddler who was running around screaming. She's a BABY!! And was pissed me off more was the fact that here she is, my friend, and she couldn't find a nicer way to say it? So then I refused my hair cut and just got the bushy brows done. I didn't want to be there any longer than necessary - she takes forever to cut hair. How freakin rude. Mother's have to go out in public with their babies sometimes, and babies are not always perfect. Have some compassion! I'm still pissed about's the Sicilian blood in me...can't let anything go.

Yesterday was Alessia's christening. It was a beautiful ceremony - we were the only family, and a great, big, family party afterward. But it was a crazy day for my little pupa! She was really really good, considering she was in a huge dress and being passed around a lot and had flash going off in her face all day long. My father-in-law was the photographer and took about 1000 pics (not an exaggeration). I'm waiting for the CD of pics so that I can post some. I felt so bad for Alessia after each round of photos, because like a true photographer, my FIL took at least 5 - 10 shots of each picture. She was exhausted by the end of the party. Today we're both just lounging in our pjs and taking it easy. Not everything was perfect though...I think we got ripped off by the restaurant. I hate dealing with this crap (remember phone anxiety? It extends to dealing with this stuff in person too) but my hubby put this party all in my hands. When I settled the bill at the end, I made sure to check how many bottles of wine they charged us for. Well, I had a splitting headache from the little kids running around and screaming for the past 4 hours, that I couldn't do the math in my head (or maybe just really didn't care to?) - 12 carafes of wine at $22.50 each does not equal $401. I couldn't understand why they had totaled the number of soda pitchers and just assumed I was paying for wine, since that was the only cost discussed when we planned the menu. Well, when we got home and I explained it to the hubby, he flipped out. I never agreed to paying for soda (did I?) and especially not at $11 per pitcher. I mean I could get a pitcher of beer for less than that! So I'm supposed to call them up and yell to get money back or something. Yea right. The hubby's going to have to do that...Mrs. Chicken Sh*t isn't up to it.

As an update to my "to pump or not to pump" post, Mrs. Chicken Sh*t actually got on the phone to call my principal about my schedule. It was seriously a 30 sec. conversation. I asked if I could have my prep in the middle of the day so I could pump and she said she'd pass that info onto the asst. principal who creates the schedule. It sounded like it wouldn't be a prob. so I'm happy. No formula for Alessia!

So I'm completely delusional when it comes to what I think I can do. Like when I watch So you think you can dance, I'm totally like "I could do that!" I used to do musicals in HS and we always did tap shows and I got to dance in the front (or close to it) I was pretty good, if I may say so myself. So in my head, I could compete with professional dancers. I could handle all those Mia Michaels, Tabitha and Napoleone, and Jeanmarc and Franz (sp??) routines! Bring it on!! No training you say?? I took a few months of ballet, tap and jazz when I was 6! I took 2 hip hop classes once in college! i even took belly dancing lessons from this creepy guy in college once that wanted to open a hooka bar and have belly dancing waitresses! And don't forget all the ballroom lessons I took for a year before we got married! I could totally win that competition. Move over Katee, Courtney, Twitch and Joshua! Today, as I'm lounging on the couch with my laptop and watching the Olympics (in my pjs still at noon), my delusions continue. Men's badminton is on. I didn't even know they had that in the olympics. I rock at badminton!! I could totally be an olympian! I used to kick butt in HS when we played in gym, and still do! I don't mean to disrespect these athletes, but badminton? Is anyone else watching this? I just can't take these guys seriously. But I could totally do it - just give me that gold metal right now. I'll put it next to my big fat check from winning So you think you can dance.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Sleepover at Nonna's (grandma's)

Tomorrow is Alessia's chritening, and even though it's been over 3 years since we've lived in Morristown, our life is still centered around it. What does that mean? We're trekking up there to have her baptised at the church there (which is also where we got married). So, as usual, we're sleeping at my mom's for the weekend and getting her ready here tomorrow morning. In the past, Alessia would sleep in the basinet seat from her bugaboo or in the bed with us. But now she has outgrown the basinet and no longer wants to sleep with us (which makes me a little sad). So where did she sleep? In the crib my mom got for when she starts watching her daily! It was a big deal for me...she's like a "big" baby now! I'm not ready for her to be farther than a few inches away from me at night, so the few feet from the airmattress to the crib was a lot. I like to sit up in bed and peek into her bassinet throughout the night, or just reach in to feel her breathing. She loved the crib because she had room to spread out, and she slept like, well, a baby!

Okay, now to favor wrapping and flower arrangements!! So fun! I'll post pictures on Monday of the big event.

Friday, August 8, 2008

I would never!!

Now that I'm a mom, I find that I say things never imagined I would. Here's a sampling:
  • "Does this poop look normal to you?"
  • "No peeing on the table!"
  • "Yay!! A poopy diaper!"
  • "That was a lot of pee-pee!"
  • "I don't have a third boob to offer you"
  • "That was a good one!" (in reference to gas)
  • "Just let me suck these boogers out!"
And things I never thought I would do or said I'd never do, but, alas, I'm guilty!
  • Breastfeed
  • Not want to stop breastfeeding
  • Let Alessia sleep in our bed
  • Go out without makeup on
  • Breastfeed in public
  • Wipe drool, spit-up, boogers with my bare hand
  • Go out without realizing I have spit-up on me
  • Pick someone else's nose (Alessia's of course)
I know there's more, but I can't think of them right now...

What do you do/say now that you're a mom that surprises you? Any mom-to-bes: what does your "never" list look like?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

To pump or not to pump

I have to go back to work in about 2 weeks and I'm freaking out. My mom's going to watch Alessia, so at least I don't really have to worry about daycare. I just don't know what I'm going to do about feeding her. I've been exclusively breastfeeding her this whole time - she's only had maybe 5 bottles of formula her whole life (we had some difficulty in the beginning), and am having a hard time figuring out if I want to give it up. I find this so ironic because even when I was pregnant with her, I never thought I would breastfeed. Then when I did decide to do it, I figured I would do it until the end of the summer and supplement with formula. Now I just don't want to give her formula at all. I have no problem with formula or other moms using it. For some reason I'm just having an adverse reaction to having to use it myself. My plan was to pump in the morning before going to work and sending her with at least that milk at my mom's and then nurse her in the evenings. But now I'm thinking I want to pump during the day so she doesn't have any formula at all.
I teach middle school, and if there are any teachers out there you know how difficult it is to find spare time and privacy. And to add to it, I was given an overload this year because they couldn't find another teacher. So I'm looking at my schedule and realize that I could have time to pump once in the middle of the day, but I have to ask my principal to schedule that period as my prep instead of a hall duty. No big deal, right? Except that I'm a big chicken. I have crazy phone anxiety and can't even bring myself to call her. Instead, I just sit here and worry she'll say no when I do finally ask, and then what do I do? I brought this up at my moms group this morning at Postpartum Place, and they were just like "don't ask, demand it!" They're much braver than I am! Well, it's too late to call her today, so I guess I'll have to try tomorrow. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

mystery smiles and giggles

Alessia just cracks me up! Her new thing lately is to stare up at the ceiling and start smiling and cracking up. She'll even stop eating to turn her head and look up, which has been making feeding her a little difficult at times. What's up there? Could it be the lights? At first I thought it was the highhats - maybe she likes the circles. But then she does it upstairs too, where we don't have them. Is there someone up there that I can't see but she can? Ok, that would be creepy. She's so cute when she does it.
I think it's funny how you can have all these toys for your kids, and they are amused by the simplest things around your house. I can't wait until she really starts moving around to see what else she'll entertain herself with.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Grandpas are so cute!

I love seeing family members interact with Alessia, but I think my favorite are the grandpas. As I grew up, my father and I butted heads a lot because we're so similar, and I think I forgot how affectionate he could be. He is adorable with my daughter. You can see him just melt when he sees her. Yesterday we went down to my aunts house to celebrate my grandfather's 83rd birthday. My dad's eyes just lit up when he saw her and immediately took her from my arms to walk her around. They're just so cute together! He loves taking her outside to show her the flowers and plants and I can hear him telling her how he's going to teach her to pull weeds as soon as she can walk and joking that she'll probably try to eat them. I just love how this tough guy melts with Alessia in his arms!

My father-in-law is the same. Although he already has two grandchildren from my brother-in-law, Alessia is his first granddaughter, so you know she's spoiled. He owns a camera shop and shows her off in the pictures frames on display - he takes out the "fake" family shots and substitutes our family pictures. It's so cool to walk in the store and see her face in the frames, like a model! My favorite thing about him is how he's so careful with her, like he's afraid to break her. He's so cute when he holds her!

She loves both of their mustaches as she is now eager to grab anything and everything with her grubby little fingers.

I also got some cute shots of my grandmother with her. This is her first great-granddaughter. She was so excited when I told her I was finally pregnant and I'm so happy she's still here with us and Alessia gets to spend time with her.

Monday, August 4, 2008

car rides

Alessia hates car rides. I dread having to drive anywhere with her by myself, and even when there's someone in the back it usually doesn't help. And every time I tell someone about it, I get the same response: "You're baby doesn't like the car?! But all babies love the car!" (I got the same response when she hated the bath too). It has been suggested the maybe she gets carsick - apparently some babies do - but I don't think it's that. I've tried everything I can think of - I try to make sure I feed her right before we go so she's not hungry, I've tried to leave when she's sleeping or about to fall asleep, I've tried music, shhh-ing, and static on the radio. Nothing seems to work! She seems to only be able to tolerate car rides in the morning, and even then not for long.

There have been a handful of good rides though, and yesterday was the best. I sat in the back with her and my husband drove (we've done this before with no luck), and we played on the hour drive to my aunts house. About half-way there, she fell asleep. Then on the way home she actually slept the entire way. I didn't do anything different, so I have no idea how to replicate these wonderful rides. Plus, what do I do when I'm alone? My mom keeps saying she'll grow out of it, and I hope she's right. Come September when I go back to work, Alessia will be in the car a lot since we have to drop her off at my mother's everday. I don't think I could deal with her screaming everyday for the whole ride, especially during rush hour.

Any suggestions or tricks? How can I make the car more enjoyable for her when we're alone?

Saturday, August 2, 2008

The lost art of breastfeeding

So I just started watching Bringing Home Baby on TLC, and there something I keep seeing/hearing...moms having a lot of difficulty with breastfeeding when they come home from the hospital and switching to formula. I hear the same thing from a couple of my friends who have recently had a baby. Somewhere along the line, we got the idea that breastfeeding is this innate, natural thing that we can all do and that it should be easy and painless. I think it's the complete opposite. You learn to breastfeed, and it's uncomfortable, and usually a little painful in the beginning. I think in the US, our problem is most of us never had a "teacher". We're not very open in this country when it comes to feeding our children. Breasts are mostly seen as sexual objects, so when we nurse our children in public, we are encouraged to cover up or go hide somewhere to "do the deed". So no wonder so many of us have no clue what to do and have problems having our babies latch on. And then to make matters worse, we feel guilty if we can't do it. The hospitals don't always help...I feel they push formula on us - just look at the "freebies" you get: all formula themed. Thank God for lactation consultants and La Leche League - what would we do without them? How many of us have actually seen someone breastfeed prior to becoming mothers ourselves - without their child and breast hidden under a blanket or shawl? Still, so many new moms have no idea where to turn to for help.

I'll admit, prior to having Alessia, I didn't give much thought to breastfeeding. I wasn't even sure if I would do it. But I figured "how hard could it be?" I was surprised when my doctor's office wanted to sign me up for a breastfeeding class. I went mostly out of curiousity, and thank God I did! I met Maria from Postpartum Place, and more important than learning positions I learned where I could get help. When in the hospital, I requested help from the lactation "specialists", but found they weren't really helpful - they just positioned her for me and I had no clue what to do on my own. When it was time to go home we had so much difficulty that I freaked out and called PPP the next day to set up a consult. They were a life-saver for weeks to come (their number is saved in all my phones) The best part: they have support groups for moms that meet weekly. Alessia and I make the 45 minute trek each week to meet with the group. It's so great to hear other moms going through the same struggles and surviving. As our children get older, topics change, so it continues to be helpful. It's an opportunity for each of us to share what's going on with our baby and ourselves and provide support for each other. I'll miss it when I go back to work!

On a side note, August is World Breastfeeding Awareness Month and Aug 1-7 is World Breastfeeding Awareness Week. Check out for more info.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Back to sleep?

Look at my little angel...when she would sleep on her back, no problem.
Like every new mom, I'm scared to death of SIDS. I'm guilty of constantly checking to see if Alessia's breathing, waking her up sometimes with my efforts, and of course being crazy about her sleeping on her back. Then she turns 1 month, and BAM! "I HATE sleeping on my back mommy!!" She could be in a deep deep sleep in my arms, and I put her down oh so gently and POP! the eyes open and the screams ensue. So now she only sleeps if I hold her up against my chest. This drives me mad, because she also does it at night. So I buy a mobywrap to help my little one sleep on my chest while I can at least have some breakfast in the morning and do laundry, etc. That's when the co-sleeping started as well (though I do love having her with me all night - it makes nursing in the middle of the night so much easier), but she had to sleep on us. Then she appeased us by agreeing to sleep on her side, but only in our bed and up against me.
Then one day while we were doing some tummy time, she started sucking her thumb and fell fast asleep in minutes. She looked the most peaceful she had in weeks. So I started putting her on her belly for naps and staying in the room with her so I could constantly check on her. What great naps! Not to mention she could soothe herself to sleep when on her tummy. But this didn't solve the problem of her sleeping at night. As soon as I put her down, even on her side, she wakes up and won't go back to sleep. So the past two weeks, she's been sleeping horribly at night, even when in our bed. She kicks and punches and tosses and turns. The other night, my husband managed to get her down on her side, and she turned onto her tummy during the night. I heard her move and saw her and freaked out. But she looked so peaceful, I let her stay - I was up every 10 min to check on her, but she slept for hours! (she was in her bassinet, not our bed)
So am I a horrible mother for letting my little one sleep on her tummy? This is the inner turmoil I've been dealing with. Although how many of us slept on our tummies and are alive to talk about it? So I brought this up at my mom's group at Postpartum Place, and the director, Maria, brings up the fact that the fetal position is so important for our babies and we're robbing them of it by putting them on their backs. So many children have had sleep problems since the back to sleep campaign started. All the sleep books out there also started popping up at this time too.It's still a lot of theory regarding what can lead to SIDS, which I think is why it scares us to death. Babies with severe acid reflux are sometimes put to sleep on their tummies...why is that okay? Alessia can pick up her upper body and move her head from side to side when on her tummy, so I'm not too concerned about her getting stuck face down. Even though I know at some point she would be able to put herself on her tummy during the night, I'm still so nervous about her sleeping this way at night. But I feel like I'm doing her a disservice by not allowing her to be comfortable at night and therefore not sleeping. So do I keep her uncomfortable and up all night, or help her to roll onto her tummy and sleep?

***Postpartum Place does not necessarily advocate putting babies to sleep on their tummies.